Heroes of the Storm has been in technical alpha testing for several months now, and I’ve drawn many conclusions from what I’ve seen. One is, of course, that the game is really fun, and the dialogue/nods to old lore and so on is well done. But what has stuck out the most for me is the tutorial.
For those who cannot watch at the time, the above videos feature voice acting, multiple characters and even a (this one is not present in the video however) StarCraft II campaign style cutscene. While the story is deliberately silly and over the top, I still found it engaging to see Raynor, Uther, Stitches and Diablo interact and battle each other in the Nexus. For example, the argument between Raynor, Diablo and Stitches over whether its possible to “feast on terror” is great, and I would love to see more scenes like this.
Now as a multiplayer, DotA type game, one may argue that outside of the tutorial there is no place for a story. I would have agreed until Blizzard’s announcement of “Adventure Mode” in the similarly free-to-play, multiplayer focused Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. They found a way to add a somewhat story based, PvE experience to their cardgame, and the fan response has been an overall positive one so far. Thus I say, can Heroes of the Storm not also have an Adventure Mode?
Imagine, that maybe once or twice a year (or however often Blizzard plans to make adventures for Hearthstone), they would release a short collection of PvE objectives that continue the adventures of Blizzard’s characters in the Nexus. They would be light-hearted, sure, but Blizzard has always done humor and in-jokes well. Adventure Mode could even possess an ongoing storyline, revealing more information about what the Nexus is, or it could just be explorations of “how would such and such characters interact with each other? Wouldn’t it be cool/funny/epic depending on the combo?”.
Of course, one may argue that incentives for playing alone in a game designed around team battles would be contradictory. In that case, the adventures could also be co-op enabled, or even co-op entirely. With the removal of the ability to complete quests in co-op games, they are sorely in need of a purpose. Training is already covered by the similar practice mode, so adventure could be where can co-op really shine.
Hearthstone‘s Adventure Mode also provides rewards for those not interesting in PvE and funny interactions with Naxxramas bosses. An Adventure Mode for Heroes of the Storm would need the same sort of bonus incentives. Such rewards could range from unlocking skins or color variants for heroes, unique mounts, or perhaps even giving an alternate way of unlocking heroes besides gold or real money. If this latter option were to be the case, Adventure Mode would likely need to be bought in to with in game gold or real money, like Hearthstone‘s will be.
Now, am I suggesting Blizzard immediately begin planning/working on an Adventure Mode for Heroes of the Storm? No, not at all. Right now Blizzard should focus on balance, finishing their roster of heroes for launch (which seems to include far more than the ones currently playable in the alpha) and ensuring this is the best Blizzard characters Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game they could possibly make. But once Heroes of the Storm has officially launched, and Blizzard must decide what next to do with it, I think an Adventure Mode would be the perfect step forward.